(CNSNews.com) – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) called for the over-the-counter sale of birth control pills in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Friday, saying that the federal government had no business restricting access to the medication.
“Democrats have wrongly accused Republicans of being against birth control and against allowing people to use it. That's hogwash. But Republicans do want to protect those who have religious beliefs that are opposed to contraception,” Jindal wrote.
The popular governor, who some consider a possible candidate for president in 2016, said that the GOP had been “stupid” to allow itself to get trapped into talking about whether it supported contraceptives or not.
“As a conservative Republican, I believe that we have been stupid to let the Democrats demagogue the contraceptives issue and pretend, during debates about health-care insurance, that Republicans are somehow against birth control. It's a disingenuous political argument they [Democrats] make,” Jindal said.
“As an unapologetic pro-life Republican, I also believe that every adult (18 years old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it. But anyone who has a religious objection to contraception should not be forced by government health-care edicts to purchase it for others. And parents who believe, as I do, that their teenage children shouldn't be involved with sex at all do not deserve ridicule.”
Jindal said that allowing the sale of birth control pills without prescription would allow a more honest debate about health care policy and avoid entrapping the GOP in debates about whether or not it is anti-women. Jindal called for “the end of birth-control politics.”
Jindal noted that controversial emergency contraception pills are already available over the counter, arguing that there was no reason why common birth control should be restricted by the federal government for adults.
“Thanks to President Obama and the pro-choice lobby, women can buy the morning-after pill over the counter without a prescription, but women cannot buy oral contraceptives over the counter unless they have a prescription,” Jindal noted.
“Contraception is a personal matter—the government shouldn't be in the business of banning it or requiring a woman's employer to keep tabs on her use of it. If an insurance company or those purchasing insurance want to cover birth control, they should be free to do so. If a consumer wants to buy birth control on her own, she should be free to do so.”
Jindal said that the government should put the issue “back in the hands of consumers” by making birth control pills available without prescription, a move that would resolve the problem of government forcing insurance companies to provide it.
“It's time to put purchasing power back in the hands of consumers—not employers, not pharmaceutical companies, and not bureaucrats in Washington,” he said.
“It's time to stop government from dividing people or insulting deeply held religious beliefs, and return the country to the path that has always made it great—one where Americans respect and value their fellow citizens, no matter their creed.”